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Why should you establish paternity?

On Behalf of | Jun 17, 2020 | Family Law

Establishing paternity is one of the most important decisions unmarried Florida fathers make. Many unwed fathers have concerns about child support payments. These concerns sometimes keep these men from establishing paternity. 

Today we will look at the reasons why you should not do this. Instead, unmarried fathers may benefit from establishing paternity. We will discuss why that is often the case. 

Establishing paternity for involvement 

The National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse looks at reasons to establish paternity. Above all, they look at the involvement you want in your child’s life. Some fathers do not want anything to do with their children. If that is the case, they do not need to establish paternity. But for most paternal figures, they want at least a little involvement. To secure that involvement, you must establish paternity. 

The rights of unwed vs wed fathers 

Unlike married fathers, unwed fathers do not have the same assumed paternal rights. The law defaults to assume a married man is the father of his wife’s child. They only need to sign the child’s birth certificate to make it official. Unwed fathers often have more paperwork to fill out. Some worry that in doing this, they lock themselves into child support payments. 

But you should know that many unwed fathers do not get child support orders. Even if they do, many find it worth the expense for the involvement in their child’s life. Without establishing paternity, you cannot make important decisions with your co-parent. The co-parent is under no legal obligation to give you updates on your child, either. This means they can move with the child without ever letting you know. 

Do you want any sort of involvement in your child’s life? If so, establishing paternity is crucial.